Once you start getting a serious trading card collection together, you quickly realize that to solve the storage and accessibility issues, as well as keep your Pokemon cards in top condition, a trading card binder is needed. But do binders damage your cards?
Binders meant for trading cards shouldn’t damage your cards. By getting binders with D-rings, a sealable outer cover that is relatively hardy, and internal sleeves made from the right material, your cards should stay in new condition in a trading card binder.
We’ll look at what makes a good trading card binder and what makes a bad one, and consider some of the best options on the market that have all these features. So let’s look at some great storage options for your Pokemon cards and other trading cards.
Are Binders Good for Trading Cards?
Binders are generally a great way to treat trading cards and keep them safe.
Binders are not all made equal and so you have to make sure that you get the right type to protect your cards, be they Magic: The Gathering cards, Pokemon cards, or anything else.
Binders have several protective qualities for your trading cards. First, as they have a hard outer shell made of cardboard or metal that protects from impacts as well as other trauma, they will stop most forms of damage that will otherwise destroy your cards.
Binders will also come with internal protections for the cards, generally in the form of plastic sleeves. These should be suitable for the card type you have, as if the cards are too small for the sleeve they will shift and move, causing friction and possibly damage.
Extra space in the sleeve also gives the card room to be folded or have the corners damaged, which will ruin the card from a value point of view let alone aesthetically.
Do Binders Damage Cards?
Binders are unlikely to damage cards but there are some binder features that can cause issues.
First, look for what type of ring binding mechanism you have. The main type is an O-ring or round-ring binder, but this can cause subtle but annoying damage to cards. Round rings press into the bottom pages.
D-ring binders are a much better choice, as the D-shape prevents pages from slipping back over the binding ring and being put in the position to be indented between the cover and rings.
Certain binder types can lead to a higher chance of damaging your cards, particularly the orientation of the sleeve.
If your binder sleeves take the cards with an open slot up the top, if you hold the binder upside down, it can lead to all the cards coming out and getting damaged.
Some binders offer side-loading sleeves, which prevents this from happening completely.
One of the last things you want to consider is the sleeve material. Aim for sleeves that are not made out of PVC, as long-term storage has shown that these can damage or discolor the cards.
If you’re wanting to be extra careful with your collection, then consider going for smaller binders that only display four cards per sheet instead of the nine-sheet version. This makes every sheet lighter, making it less likely it will bend over and cause folding in the cards.
Smaller binders that have limited pages can also be very tight, so that’s why the two-by-two arrangement tends to be the best overall in terms of card protection and also displaying lots per page.
Very large binders can tend to bend under their own weight, particularly if it is a stiff cover, causing permanent damage to the cards within.
Often it’s best to lay binders down flat, as vertical storage can cause the bottom cards to get compressed over time. This will depend on the gaps between sleeves, as well as any additional padding on the bottom of sleeves.
Is CardGuard a Good Binder?
CardGuard is specifically meant to be a good storage medium for trading cards from baseball cards to Yu-Gi-Oh! cards.
They offer fixed-page products, which you cannot add or remove sheets from but this also means no need for ring binders in the center. Amazon stocks the CardGuard Trading Card Pro-Folio that is side-loading.
They also stock a three-ring binder option with a D-shaped binder that you can take or add extra pages to. The CardGuard Premium allows over 900 standard cards to be displayed.
CardGuard has many other offerings and has made storing trading cards their specialty, so check out their range as there is surely something that will work perfectly for you as they have smaller and larger options to fit any size collection.
What Binder Should I Get for Pokemon Cards?
Pokemon binders are big business, and you can also look at any type of card binder to hold your Pokemon cards as the cards are generally the same size.
The official Pokemon merchandise includes specialty binders, with the Ultra Pro Pokemon 2019 Pikachu 3-Ring Binder allowing 225 Pokemon cards. As this is a binder with rings, you can add or remove extra sheets as you wish.
If you want a fixed-page binder, consider the Pokemon Ultra Ball 9-Pocket PRO-Binder which holds 360 cards and is made from non-staining and damage-free polypropylene material.
It also comes with a strap to keep the binder closed so it is safe during transit.
Another possibility is the Rayvol Large 9-Pocket Trading Card Binder that has a great Pokemon styling with a Bulbasaur exterior on a green background. It has a zipper to seal the leather outer, and comes with 60-pages of nine-pockets each, holding 1080 cards.
It also features D-rings and a smooth velvet interior, although keep in mind that for premium storage you should only put in one card per sleeve otherwise the two cards will be touching.
Another great option is the Forbod 4-Pocket Trading Card Binder, it has the arms of the original three starter Pokemon as well as Pikachu, reaching for a Pokeball in the center. It can take 480 cards, and also features a zipper and wrist strap.